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1810- August 11th Born to Jonathan Huntington Lyman and Sophia Hinckley

1831- Changes name from Samuel Hinckley Lyman to Samuel Lyman Hinckley at the request of his maternal grandfather Judge Samuel Hinckley

1838- March 31st Marries Henrietta Elizabeth Rose

1838- December 20th Birth of Son Henry Rose Hinckley

1838- December 30th Death of Wife Henrietta

1846- Becomes silent partner to Samuel Hill in the Nonotuck Silk Company

1849- January 17th Marriage to Ann Cutler Parker / there are four children from this marriage

1871- Become President of the newly incorporated Northampton Cutlery Co.

1871- December 13th Death in Versailles, Paris, France


The Text

Read by his 3x Great-Grandson Samuel Lyman Hinckley


The Hidden Layer


Samuel was born into a well-established and wealthy family. His last name was not Hinckley, he was a Lyman. At the age of twenty-one he changed his name from Samuel Hinckley Lyman to Samuel Lyman Hinckley at the bequest of his maternal grandfather whose sole surviving child was Sam's mother, Sophia. His hidden layer includes a map of Hinckley, Ohio which is a township purchased by his grandfather. It also includes the Nonotuck Silk Mill in Florence, MA as he was a silent partner to Samuel Hill who ran the business. This investment was one of the family's main incomes during the 1860s. Hill partnering with SLH was controversial due to his connections to the South and the fact the silk mill was originally established as an abolitionist venture to offer an alternative to southern cotton. 

There are hundreds of letters written between Sam and his son Henry over the years. It would be impossible for me to cover all the times Sam discussed the war and his thoughts on the state of the union. However, it would be negligent to not consider how both his and Henry's views changed over the years. In the above letter written in January of 1861 Sam states "it may be unchristian and unprincipled but rather than such a war I would let slavery into the territories" and characterizes slavery as "not the greatest evil"  In a letter written a year and a half later Sam revisits the topic of slavery and has shifted his view to forecasting its end and maligning those who maintain it. He writes "It is hard for me to be patriotic. I am coming to it, for though the practical abolitionist behaved badly, unscrupulous, mean tyrannical, mean-spirited slaveholders have behaved worse. Now they must cave or die and slavery with them. Slavery is doomed at all events." 

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